4 Blogger Tools for Breaking Your Writing Block

social media toolsBlogs can be powerful marketing tools. Blogging can also be a highly demanding endeavor.

Even the most prolific writers can find themselves with a serious case of “blogger’s block.”

When blogger’s block strikes, some basic keyword research can provide a fresh batch of blog post ideas.

A series of posts written around related keywords can also look good in the eyes of the search engines or prospects.

Using Keyword Tools to Brainstorm Blog Post Topics

#1: Google Related Searches

There are a number of tools that can uncover related keywords and ideas for possible blog topics.

One of the first and easiest places to start is on the Google home page. Start by searching for a phrase that you’d like your blog to rank in on search engines.

After conducting the search, click on “More search tools” in the left column and then “Related searches.” Google will return a list of related searches for the keyword or phrase for which you just searched.

related searches blog

Opening Related Searches on Google provides a list of possible blog post ideas.

For example, let’s say I wanted to write about blogging and needed blog post ideas. I would start by searching Google for “blog” and looking at the related searches. As you can see in the image above, related searches for the term “blog” include terms and phrases such as “free blog,” “create blog,” “blog software,” “WordPress,” and “Technorati.”

Each one of these terms could be turned into blog posts with titles such as:

  • Five of the Best Places to Start a Free Blog
  • Three Things You Must Do to Create a Successful Blog Post
  • Why I Like WordPress
  • How to Get Your Blog Post Listed in Technorati

#2: Google AdWords Keyword Tool

The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is another place to brainstorm topics for your next blog post. A search on Google AdWords will bring up a much bigger list of search terms and will also provide insight into how often the term is searched and the competition for the keyword or phrase.

For example, a search for the phrase “how to blog” brings up phrases such as “YouTube blog,” “funny blog” and “blog calendar.” All three have a high monthly search volume yet low competition for the keyword. Blog post titles using these keywords might include:

  • How to Create a YouTube Blog Post
  • Five Things to Consider When Writing a Funny Blog Post
  • Schedule Your Posts With a Blog Calendar
adwords how to blog

Google AdWords returns a list of related search terms that can be used to generate blog post topics.

#3: Wordtracker’s Keyword Questions

Wordtracker’s Keyword Questions is a powerful tool designed to help with content brainstorming. Enter a keyword and Wordtracker returns a list of 100 questions asked by search engine users that include the keyword.

For this example, let’s say that a realtor is trying to come up with a list of possible blog post ideas. Entering the term “Home” into Wordtracker’s Keyword Questions brings up a list of possible blog topics including:

  • “How leasing a car affects qualifying for a home mortgage”
  • “Home security systems and which one is the best one”
  • “How do I calculate the value of my home”
  • “Do it yourself home remodeling”

The search above also provides a number of topics not related to real estate to sort through such as “Can I make holy water at home or do I have to go to a church,” but who knows, there might be an interesting blog post in there somewhere. When it comes to writing blog posts, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

wordtracker

Wordtracker provides actual questions asked by users searching their search engines. Many of these can be directly used as the title of a blog post.

Along with questions, Wordtracker Keyword also offers search results based on keyword connections, random trigger words and the top searched keywords. Each of these options pairs your keyword with various other search terms and provides results based on actual searches conducted through Wordtracker’s partner search engines. The results can provide a wide range of blog post ideas and topics you may not have considered.

#4: Google Analytics (or Other Traffic Analytics Program)

Analyzing the incoming traffic to a blog can provide a number of ideas for blog posts and highlight the opportunity to build upon popular posts and search terms that are bringing traffic to a site.

If our realtor notices that searches for a particular neighborhood are driving traffic to her site, she can capitalize on the opportunity by writing a series of posts about community resources and the real estate market in the neighborhood.

If you discover that an unusual or unexpected keyword is driving traffic, the brainstorming methods above can help unlock potential blog posts related to the keyword.

Google Wonder Wheels

Although Google has taken down their Wonder Wheels tool, I have to mention it because it was such a great brainstorming tool and comments in the Google help forum have left the door open (if ever so slightly) for its return.

Wonder Wheels provided a graphic display of related terms that could be clicked and searched in an ever-growing web of related keywords. As I wrote in an earlier post on Social Media Examiner, it not only provided a great brainstorming tool for writing blog posts, it also gave insight into the way Google connects keywords.

Hopefully Google will find it in their wisdom to bring it back in the near future because I personally feel that it blew the above tools out of the water.

Create a Resource

When done well, a series of posts written around keywords can give your blog a nice jump in the search engines. Always remember, though, focus on content first and let the keywords follow.

By providing a resource of topically related articles, you create a reason for others to link to your site and quality incoming links are key to top search engine rankings.

What do you think? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Jim Lodico

Jim Lodico is a copywriter and marketing consultant specializing in creating powerful content and teaching businesses how to use blogs. You can follow him on Twitter @jlcommunication. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.extremejohn.com Extreme John

    Ahhh.. Google related searches. Never really have thought about using them as a keyword search tool. I’ve always been using Google AdWords and Google Analytics. But Google related searches is a brilliant idea. I’m surely going to try it soon.

  • Petra Thomas

    Regular blogging has been on my to do list for quite some time. However, the lack of blogging ideas has kept me from blogging regularly. With this post you gave me the tools I was missing. Thank you so much!

  • http://androidflip.com Kuldeep Singh

    Great post, i was searching for same 

    now i will always follow this guideline , thank you JIM

  • http://taukehkedai-azizul.blogspot.com @TaukehKedai

    Fantastic tip.

  • http://coupsmart.com/ Nick Sweeney

    Man, what a great post. I use a lot of newsworthy items for my blog post, so some days, I come up blank. But these tools will make sure I can have a nice stockpile of related posts without waiting for the newest headline. Thanks, Jim!

  • http://kathypop.com/ Kathy Pop

     Thanks, you gave me some resources that I haven’t thought of using before- for writer’s block, anyway. I also miss the Wonder Wheel and hope they bring it back soon!

  • Ardala Evans

    We actually went through a very similar process as team. We were each given a general topic and with some keyword and Q&A research we now have a very large bank of topics for future blog posts.

  • Bev Carlson

    Very helpful suggestions. I just finished a blog post that I agonized
    over before I came up with an “OK” idea. I’ll definitely will be using
    these ideas.

  • http://localvideomarketing.biz/ Anthony Idle

    I agree and really hope Google brings back wonder wheel. Thx for the post. I’m going to head to the Wordtracker tool now.

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  • Danitalicious

    I had just mentioned that I was hitting a wall trying to find topics for new blogs. This came at the perfect time! Thanks!

  • http://www.strategyaudit.wordpress.com Allen Roberts

    The secret is out, and will probably contribute to the mass of recycled junk around.
    I believe that to really engage readers you need to be genuinely original, to connect dots not connected by others, and to see common things in uncommon ways.
    That is really hard, tough, but creative work, I’m sure Seth Godin would call it “Art” the best is the original, all else are copies, and not as valuable although usually nice to look at.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    The thing I like about using Google related searches is that it gives you some insight into the way Google connects ideas and terms.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Post ideas are everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open for them. Write a long email explaining a process – blog post. Clients asking the same questions over and over – blog post. More than anything, you need to keep your eyes open for ideas and create a process for recording and remembering your ideas for later.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    I just recently discovered the Wordtracker tool but talk about ready-made blog headlines.

  • MailFredl

    You’re all way ahead of me.  I’m just starting out.  Any suggestions of how to get to the point you all seem to be at would be helpful…

  • http://lehrinsuranceagency.com/ Josh

    Google related searches and Wordtracker’s keyword questions tool are amazing resources for getting blogging ideas. It really is a shame that the wonder wheel is no longer available, I wonder if it would be possible for a third party to recreate it…. Anyways, thanks for the great post!

  • avilbeckford

    Recently I have been using Google Keyword Tool and Market Samurai a lot to discover the keywords to use. It was an eye opening experience because some of the keywords I was using in my posts were not the keywords people were actually using to search for my topic. Since I have made the changes I am getting more traffic to my blog. And you are correct, the Keyword tools have giving me ideas for blog posts as well. Thanks!

    Avil Beckford

  • http://malharbarai.com/ Malhar Barai

    Great Ideas Jim!!!

    I do keep a list of keywords & have added it to Google Alerts. This way I can keep track of the happening around the keywords & helps in ideation of blog post too. Now, I shall add your tips to what I have been doing & looking forward to frequent posts.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    Malhar

  • http://www.TheSocialNetworkingNavigator.com Laurie Hurley

    Great suggestions. I use the Google Keyword Tool, but am going to try the other resources, too. I dictate my blogs on Dictation Dragon and go back to optimize them, so this is wonderful info. Thank you.

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    Hi Jim! I am really thankful to you for sharing this post. I hope it would be more helpful to me for blogging. Good informative post.

  • http://www.offshorecompanyexperts.com/en/index.html Jonathan Nichol

    Such great tips, bookmarking this post!

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Please note my emphasis on content first. I’m a strong believer in
    creating high quality content above and beyond all else. However, even
    the best of us can get blocked sometimes. My suggestion is to use these
    tools as a starting point in the brainstorming process. From there, it
    is up to the blogger to create quality content. The Google algorithms
    are getting too smart for those trying to game the system through simple
    key word research.

    A series of high quality, topically related posts can create a resource
    of value which can in turn bring incoming links of value. If it’s
    recycled junk, nobody is going to link to it, share it on Facebook or
    Google +1 or other social media networks and it will linger as junk. A
    sight filled with low quality, recycled content doesn’t do anything to
    build confidence for the potential client either.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    I think the best way to learn is by doing. If you’ve got something of value to say, don’t be afraid to say it. Take it one step at a time and continually build your knowledge.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Google alerts are a great way to bring in new ideas. You can see what is popular, what people are talking about and add your own insights to the discussion. It also helps you to see where there is a void that needs to be discussed.

  • http://www.quickeasyblog.com/ Jim

    Do you like using Dictation? I’ve considered it but every time I’ve played with it (emails on iphone), I find that as a writer, I tend to think through my fingers on the keyboard. It’s also shown me how much I naturally edit as I write. I almost bought it a few months ago but didn’t pull the trigger.

    I would think it takes an entirely different thought process than writing at a keyboard.

  • http://www.unikapparel.com/ unikapparel

    The busier I get the less I blog. These ideas are great! Thank you so much!

  • http://www.IfSimply.com/ Keith Griffis

    It helps with SEO keywords as well if the adwords tool seems a bit lacking.

  • http://www.IfSimply.com/ Keith Griffis

    Hi Petra,
    I agree with Jim. I get a lot if ideas from clients. I also keep photos of things I see to write about later.

    Another tip is to jot down ideas in your phone or notepad as they come up. I regularly blog from my wordpress app on my iPhone and it allows me to start a lot of posts and finish later when I have time.

    I also highly recommend setting up a google alert for a topic or a twitter list with people you admire for sources o inspiration. I often find tha reading a good post gets my mid going and leads me to a different and fresh idea.

    Last one (I promise) podcasts. I like listening to a few on my iPhone while jogging and it always sparks a few new ideas.

    Best of luck!
    Keith

  • http://www.IfSimply.com/ Keith Griffis

    First off, clearly define your topic and goals. What are you looking to do with your blog? What about your career? Then figure out the topics you will cover and who you expect your audience to be.

    You are essentially creating a content strategy to focus your effort to maximize reach and minimize your wasted effort. Then start brainstorming topics and start writing.

    The next step is promoting your posts by means of Seo, social media, or active participation in forums, groups, or even commenting on blogs will drive traffic to your site. The big payoff for me was when I was picked up as a syndicated writer and guest blogger for three prominent blogs in my industry.

  • http://twitter.com/bobnunn bob nunn

    Read yours then immediately came across a post from my internet marketing pal Linda with 6 more ideas on Getting Blog Ideas: http://bit.ly/suiSQH Hope this helps!

  • Stacy_Lynn

    Thanks for sharing Keyword Questions.  I’ll definitely make use of it.  For CapitolMomentum blogs, I turn to Mashable.com or Hacker News for inspiration and that works well.  Or I just figure out what’s torking me off for the week and channel Andy Rooney. 

  • http://kcclaveria.com KC Claveria

    For some reason, I can’t find the “Related searches” link on Google even after opening up more search tools. Just me?

    Other than that, great post!

  • http://www.mediathx.in Avinash

    wow awesome post and thanks for the great article :)

  • http://gifmagic.blogspot.com Jaison

    Thanks for these 4 amazing tools. I would try them for breaking my writing block.

  • http://www.webdesigntipsonline.com Steve Hall

    Hi Jim
    Thanks for the great ideas re content creation. Hadn’t really thought about Google Related Searches. Content creation is probably the area that I struggle most with for my blogging. Some days it is really hard to come up with any kind of decent idea for a post.

  • http://thewrittenwordsells.blogspot.com/ Writtenword

    I have started a couple of blogs over the past year and have found “bloggers block” on my back a number of times.  The suggestions shared in this article are fantastic but I have to agree (to some degree) with Allen, in regards to creating unique content.  Is there a way to use these tools to generate new or fresh content ideas?  For example, in researching a word or phrase, would using a related term that has less popularity be beneficial?

  • http://ivinviljoen.net/blog Ivin Viljoen

    Hello Jim. I find the symbiosis between discipline and rest interesting. Too much discipline and you burn out, too much time for creative space and you run the risk of becoming passive. Keeping a hotpot of thoughts is a great idea, and great ideas keep no hours. But then one still has to order those thoughts. creativity is an interesting process that can evoke much debate, one that is said to be subjective and objective all at the same time.

  • http://www.denisegabbard.com/ Denise Gabbard

    Hi Jim– Nice post, and I agree with some of your comments above…blog posts are everywhere! Every blog and website I read seems to give me an idea or two about what to tackle next. I do like the idea of using Google tools…who knows better than them which keywords are gonna score?  

  • Nischala Murthy

    Hi Jim – This is a good article… Sometimes you just need to stay away from blogging for a bit and will be able to come back with renewed energy, vigor and ideas.. You may find my post interesting @ http://12most.com/2011/12/07/12-mesmerizing-mantras-publish-321-blogs-321-days

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  • http://www.dynamicalsoftware.com Glenn Engstrand

    Keyword based suggestions are fine for a start but, to get better quality topics to blog about, you should get hints based on what your real readers are interested in. That is why you might be interested in the opportunity eye which is a project where your blog readers get to discover related opportunities in a widget surfaced on your blog site. Users are allowed to follow, discuss, or visit opportunities related to the blog topic. Engagement metrics are tracked and published for the blogger to explore.









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